At the end of 2019, Longines introduced arguably one of their nicest re-editions to date in the Heritage Classic “Sector” and for 2021 they’ve taken this winning formula and added a black dial. Longines are a company that are steeped in history, but some will, and rightly so, argue that they are no longer the company they once used to be but for the majority of watch buyers out there, Longines represents a real opportunity to buy a luxury watch at reasonable price point and this is perhaps more pertinent. Moreover, what I think Longines are getting so right at this moment in time is creating watches that collectors and enthusiast not only want but also can afford.
Towards the end of last year Longines introduced the Heritage Classic; a watch based on a 1930s sector dial design taken from their extensive back catalogue and while it had a few critics at the time, overall it was very well received. I guess you could say that Longines’ abundant back catalogue of historic timepieces does allow them to reissue a myriad of watches that strikes a chord with collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The design of the Heritage Classic evokes the same spirit as its 1930s inspiration. The satin brushed case is a streamline affair, with a three-part case. The middle section of the case has been satin brushed and features clean and sharp facets, with a matching large bezel. However, the snap on case back is polished and sports the old Longines logo. That said, it would’ve been nice to see a screw down case back, something more akin to that of the Tre Tacche’s from the same 1930-40s era – this would’ve been a nice touch. Nonetheless, Longines have used an old-style logo large crown, which balances nicely with the 38.5mm case.
Beneath the anti-reflective box-style sapphire crystal is the gorgeous and unfussy sector dial. The two-tone black and charcoal grey dial is characterised into three distinct sections; on the satin-finished hour ring of the dial sits the Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock separated by sectors. If you look very closely, you’ll see the white ink used on this portion of the dial it is ever so slightly raised – adding some hidden detail. This section is framed by a thin outer piano black edge that bears the inscription “SWISS MADE” at 6 o’clock. The final section of the dial is the piano black centre, which features a crosshair and a small subsidiary running seconds at 6 o’clock, with sailed texture. The classical look of this Longines is emphasised by polished pencil-style steel hands, which gives it a vintage look and feel.
Most reissue Longines tend to include a date window, however, in-keeping with the original design of its 1930s inspiration, the Heritage Classic is free from this impediment, and this is all down to the movement. The Heritage Classic is driven by a new exclusive movement; the calibre L893.5, which features a silicon balance spring. This movement is self-winding and though it would’ve been nice to see Longines make it a manual wound movement, it doesn’t detract from the watches classic feel. The sans date nature of this new movement specifically developed for the Heritage Classic, is what enables the small seconds display to be located under the central axis.
When Longines released the silver dial version of this watch back in 2019, it only came with an option of a light blue or semi-matte black leather strap with beige stitching and in addition to this, each example was also supplied with a denim-effect leather NATO strap and the tools required to change the strap. However, I opted to wear mine on a satin brushed BoR bracelet and now this new black dial also comes with a beads of rice bracelet, though it is polished but it still has the desired effect. It also comes on a vintage-inspired cognac-tone leather strap that has a steel Longines pin buckle.
The Longines Heritage Classic “Sector” is available on either a brown leather strap (L2.8188.8.131.52) and is priced at £1,650 or a grain-of-rice bracelet (L2.8184.108.40.206), which is priced at £1,820. For more information on this watch, visit the longines.com.